Mexico

CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

written by | Posted on October 1st, 2009

The food here is a full-blown affair, no matter the time. Breakfast at La Estancia, for instance, can be an hours-long affair as you hit the omelet, juice, chilaquiles, quesadilla, and pancake stations; dinner there is similarly spectacular. Mikado offers incredible sushi and Asian fare, while Las Casitas has a bit of everything—and it’s the best place to enjoy a big bowl of ceviche with tortilla chips as you look out to sea. There’s also a friendly deli with coffees, teas and sandwiches.

Within La Estancia is La Cava, with hundreds of bottles of wine and more than a few of tequila. CasaMagna Marriott is home to the first woman to be certified a tequilier, French native Audrey Formissano, who also happens to be a sommelier. CasaMagna even has its own brand of fine tequila made from its own agave plants. La Cava is tiny, ideal for a 10-person wedding reception or a posh birthday celebration. Here, also, guests can arrange for a private tequila or wine tasting event.

Guests can sign up for cooking classes and learn to whip up some of their favorite Mexican dishes, including fresh guacamole, ceviche and crusted snapper. For $90 pp, guests can enjoy a 2-hour interactive lesson using some of the resort’s homegrown herbs and spices and end their culinary experience with a taste of their own creation and a glass of wine.

turtle release CasaMagna Marriott has a long history of community involvement and environmental awareness, best illustrated in its Sea Turtle Rescue Program. From June through December, sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs; the resort staff patrols the beaches to gather them and transport them to the turtle nursery for incubation to prevent predators from getting to them. A month and a half later, when the tiny hatchlings emerge, guests can assist in their release on the beach, where they find their way to the water and soak up the shoreline’s uniqueness as they go. Approximately 15 years later, they should return to the same beach to lay their own eggs.

The beautiful experience of watching the hatchlings crawl out to sea at sunset melts even the toughest of hearts and exposes kids of all ages to the beauty of protecting nature’s creatures—last year alone, 86,415 sea turtles were released.

Earlier this year, CasaMagna Marriott received the Alice S. Marriott Award for community service, due in part for its coordination of beach and river clean-ups, donation of trees to schools, promotion of student internships, the Sea Turtle Rescue Program and more.

The resort has an Escape family package that starts at $162 per night good through Dec. 11 (the sea turtle release ends in December) that includes accommodations for two adults and two children 12 and under, daily breakfast, pizza and movie night, and a nightly milk-and-cookies turndown service for the kids. The children can also take part in the Marriott Kids Club, which comes with its own kiddie pool and has a ton of supervised activities and games.